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If you live in a building or home that has a large, relatively flat roof area, it can make a great place to build a deck with a view to enhance your outdoor living space. In this episode we add a low-maintenance composite deck and railings to the roof of a building near downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

Things To Consider When Building a Rooftop Deck

Rooftop Deck Planning and Design

Before starting the construction of a rooftop deck, make sure the design of the deck meets all local building codes, and the plans have been approved by the owner of the building and any local regulatory agencies.

Safety is important when planning and designing a rooftop deck, particularly if children are allowed access. This includes making sure the handrails are very sturdy, and the height of the handrails and spacing of balusters is up to code.

Here are some additional questions to consider before starting the project:

  • What is the purpose of your rooftop deck?
  • What material is ideal for your climate?
  • How will a rooftop deck affect your home’s value?
  • How will contractors access the roof?

Bison adjustable deck supports holding up deck floor joists.
Bison adjustable deck supports holding up deck floor joists.

Rooftop Deck Foundation

When building a deck on a roof, it’s important to avoid nailing or screwing through the roofing to prevent leaks.

To accomplish that, adjustable deck supports from Bison Innovative Products were used to support the deck. The height and pitch on the roof supports can be adjusted so the deck can be leveled while following the contour of the roof. Pressure-treated wood joists were then attached to the deck supports.

Watch our video on Adjustable Deck Supports and How to Build a Deck Foundation to find out more.

Composite Decking

Composite tongue and groove decking.
Composite decking.

After the deck foundation was complete, tongue and groove composite decking from TimberTech was screwed to the joists using hidden fasteners to provide a durable, low-maintenance deck.

Composite decking often requires the joists to be closer together than wood decking, since composite material isn’t as rigid as wood. The composite decking we used, however, was designed to be used with joists on 24” centers, which reduces the number of joists needed.

Watch our video on Choosing Between Composite and Wood Decking and DIY Composite Deck Installation to find out more.

Composite Railings

To make our rooftop deck even more low maintenance, TimberTech composite railings and balusters were used. The 4×4 treated wood posts for the railings were covered with composite sleeves that slid over the posts.

After the composite rails had been screwed to the balusters and attached to the posts, the top was covered with a composite handrail to hide the screws.

Installing composite deck railings.
Assembling composite deck railings.

Watch our video on Building Deck Handrails to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Storing Paint Rollers

Putting paint roller sleeve in chip can.

If you have more painting than you can complete in one day, you can save cleaning time by removing the paint roller from the frame and storing it in a clean, resealable potato chip can overnight, rather than cleaning it out at the end of the day. For even longer wet paint roller sleeve storage, seal the plastic lid to the can with tape, and store the container in a refrigerator or freezer. (Watch Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Painter’s Tape Corners

Painter’s tape Quick Corners on door glass.

Quick Corners make painting around glass on window sash or glass paned doors fast and easy. Simply peel the corners off the roll and apply to the glass on each corner of the pane. Cut strips of painter’s tape to length and apply them to the glass between the corners. Quick Corners can remain on the glass up to 14 days without sticking and are available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Container Planting Tips

Tricia Craven Worley planting container grown plants in ground.

Many plants—including flowers, trees, and shrubs—come in plastic containers that are ready for planting in the yard. When planting container grown plants in the yard, start by digging a hole a bit larger than the plant. Next, improve the soil around the plant by adding compost, rich soil, or a little fertilizer to give the plant a head start. Add water to the hole, then plant the plant and add more water. (Watch Video)

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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